We have isolated and sequenced a full-length cDNA clone encoding rat glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate-dehydrogenase (GAPDH, E.C.126.96.36.199). The entire mRNA is 1269 nucleotides long exclusive of poly(A) and contains respectively 71 and 196 bases of 5' and 3' non-coding regions. Primer extension as well as S1 nuclease protection experiments clearly established that a single (or at least a highly prominent) GAPDH mRNA species is expressed in all rat tissues examined. This sequence allowed the determination of the hitherto unknown primary structure of rat GAPDH which is 333 aminoacids long. Comparison between GAPDH sequences from rat, man and chicken revealed a high degree of sequence conservation at both nucleotide and protein levels.